Since the kids were born, Sara and I see movies in the theater very infrequently. As I said the last time we saw a movie, when you’re only seeing about one movie a year, it’s got to be a good one. You’ve got to make it count. That’s why when we got the opportunity last weekend to see a movie, we quickly turned to the Academy Award Nominations to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.
Hugo leads the pack with 11 nominations, however, it wasn’t playing at the theater closest to us. Close behind was The Artist, with 10 nominations, so we took the Academy at their word and checked it out.
I wish we wouldn’t have.
It’s not that The Artist is a terrible film. It’s an okay film at best. I won’t say I wasn’t entertained by the movie, but I will say my entertainment level was below probably half of the movies I’ve seen this year. And for a movie with 10 Academy Award nominations, that’s not really up to snuff, is it?
Sara and I tried to explain to ourselves later how this film garnered so many nominations, and the best guess we have is that Hollywood absolutely loves movies about Hollywood. I was positively shocked when I looked up some of the reviews and read how absolutely glowing they were. Again, it’s not a bad movie, but reading the reviews they made it sound like it was the greatest movie ever made. I have to say, I feel like there is some kind of emperor’s-new-clothes thing going on with this movie. Everybody has been told how good it is and how much they have to like it, that they think they *do* like it, because they don’t want to disagree and say it really wasn’t that good.
The only thing the movie had going for it was a gimmick: it’s a silent film. Now, full disclosure, I did not know this going in, and it’s something you should be prepared for. I knew the subject of the movie was silent films, but I didn’t know that it was actually a silent film. So I could certainly see the argument that it was unique and different, and perhaps if we saw tons and tons of movies we would appreciate it on that front. But the problem was not that it was a silent film, but that it wasn’t a very good film.
The Artist is up for Best Picture this year. Can someone honestly tell me they enjoyed it as much as say The Departed or A Beautiful Mind? Put it in the same class as Schindler’s List or Forrest Gump? Is it as iconic as Rain Man or Silence of the Lambs? Will it be remembered like The Godfather?
The answer is no.
It has an interesting gimmick. Maybe it’s worth seeing, maybe it’s not. But if you’re only going to see one movie a year, it shouldn’t be this one. It can’t be this one. You can not tell me it was the best movie of the entire year.
Maybe I am a curmudgeon who just doesn’t like things. Maybe seeing only one movie a year sets my expectations too high, and I didn’t judge this movie fairly. But let me also say this: the movie put Sara to sleep. 10 potential Academy Awards, and it put Sara to sleep. Even my mom, who said she really enjoyed the movie, said she almost fell asleep.
Is that the mark of the best movie of the entire year, that it lulls you to sleep??